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(Laurie Hatch)

Homing In On Black Holes

To gain insight into the most mysterious objects in the universe, astronomers shine a light at the chaotic core of our Milky Way

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(Continued from page 3)

She spends most of her time overseeing the command center at Waimea, but she has been to the top of Mauna Kea to see the laser in action. As we talk about the mesmerizing sight, it is clear that Ghez appreciates an irony: astronomers love the dark and often complain about any source of light that might interfere with their observations. Yet here they are, casting a beacon of light into the heavens to help illuminate the blackest thing humanity can ever hope to see.

This story by Robert Irion won the American Astronomical Society's 2010 David N. Schramm Award for Science Journalism.

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